Well the quick answer is both yes and no!
Most commercial cocoa powder is produced via the Dutch method meaning it’s been heated up to around 150C. That and the potential chemical solvents involved in the process mean many of the nutrients and antioxidants do not survive.
Raw organic cacao on the other hand is not subjected to temperatures exceeding 40C meaning that all the lovely vitamins and minerals remain.
So, what are the benefits of going raw when it comes to chocolate?
For starters raw cacao is packed full of antioxidant flavonoids – 40x more than blueberries and 21 times more than green tea!
It’s super rich in magnesium and one of the highest plant-based sources of iron. The presence of phenethylamine and anandamide also deliver mood boosting and anti-depressant properties.
Of course the main added benefit is that it tastes great, and fun part is finding your favourite way to use it.
We all fancy a sweet treat every now and again and this recipe delivers on taste and nutrition. Its a simple pudding that combines cacao, avocado and banana and adds a touch of extra sweetness from dates so no refined sugar involved.
There are a thousand avocado puddings out there, but this is the best I’ve ever tasted by far. Extensive research has been undertaken, so see what you think!
Raw Cacao Avocado Pudding
- 85g dates, stoned
- 2 ripe medium avocados
- 2 ripe medium bananas
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
Makes around six small puddings
Soak the dates in warm water for around 30 minutes to soften, then drain.
Place the avocados, bananas and soaked dates in a blender and pulse until smooth.
Add all the other ingredients and blend again until everything is combined and the pudding has a silky texture.
Transfer to small serving dishes and chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.
To add texture try serving with a sprinkling of goji berries, raw cacao nibs, toasted nuts or some bee pollen – really whatever you fancy!